It’s something that has become second nature to his players, but Sacred Heart Cathedral girls’ basketball coach Brian Harrigan could only speculate Thursday how it will feel the next time the nation’s top-ranked team takes the floor for a game.
In his first public comments since Terrell Rogers — the father of Irish star forward Tierra Rogers — was shot and killed across the street from the gym during halftime of the team’s home game against Mitty on Saturday night, Harrigan admitted he did not know how Sacred Heart will respond when it returns to the court next week at Notre Dame of Belmont. But after talking to his players, they all agreed getting back on the floor is something that needs to happen.
“I’m sure Wednesday there’s going to be a whole different feeling and meaning when we come onto the court,” Harrigan said. “[But basketball is] our passion, our love, so we felt we needed time to figure things out and to heal, but then there waswithout a doubt a time where we needed to get back on the floor.”
Harrigan said the Irish lifted weights and had a light shootaround Thursday, their first basketball-related activities since Saturday night. They will have a regular practice this afternoon as they prepare to face the Tigers on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. That game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night, but was moved after Terrell Rogers’ funeral was set for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the San Francisco Christian Center.
Harrigan said no timetable has been set for Tierra Rogers’ return to the court.
“It’s been shocking and hard to understand. It’s hard to accept that he is gone,” the four seniors wrote. “Our prayers are with Tierra and her family [and] we are going to move forward with each other and stay focused.”
The two-time defending state champions are 15-0, and on Jan. 9 assumed the top position in the USA Today Super 25 poll. Three days later, Terrell Rogers was killed, and the team postponed two games this week to mourn. One game, against Sacred Heart Prep, has been canceled and will not count against either team’s record. The other will be played at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 at St. Francis.
Meanwhile, Harrigan told the team to “lace ’em up” in preparation for today’s practice.
“I think [the game is going to] bring us back together as a group and allow us to have more fun times together,” he said.